The Times of India, May 5 2017, Bhopal: Hundreds of Narmada Bachao Andolan(NBA) members led by well-known social activist Medha Patkar laid siege to the state secretariat in Bhopal till 10.30pm on Thursday. They were insisting upon meeting chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan but their siege went in vain.

Patkar said chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is hosting the on-going Narmada Sewa Yatra, has not been holding dialogue with the stakeholders of the Narmada river for the past 15 years.

Divisional commissioner Ajatshatru Shrivastava met the NBA leader and promised to forward their demands to the chief secretary.

Earlier during the day while talking to media, Patkar said the chief minister is under tremendous pressure from Gujarat and the Centre and has been a mute witness to the atrocities being perpetrated on the people of Madhya Pradesh in the Narmada valley. She said thousands of people of one town and 192 villages in the valley have not been given compensation in accordance with the Supreme Court directives. She said that the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) may take a decision to close down the gates of Sardar Sarovar dam project that will affect a lot of people.

“We are here to challenge and warn the authorities who are conspiring to illegally close the gates of the dam in the May 9 meeting of the NCA,” Patkar said.
She led a large number of affected people from the valley who accompanied her to Bhopal. She said she had brief meeting with some villagers in the on-going Narmada yatra and asked them to come down to Bhopal so that she could listen to their woes.
“At a time when Chouhan wants to accord the status of living entity to river Narmada, both the state and centre are ready to crush lakhs of Narmada’s children like insects,” Patkar said.

After a rally taken out by the NBA in the afternoon, activists of the organisation sat on a dharna at the secretariat insisting to meet the chief minister or the chief secretary.